Thursday, June 5, 2008

Let's Not Move On Up

Some Ranger fans have been asking if it would be worth the Rangers making a move to try to move up from their current draft position. Our answer is "Just Say No, friends do not let Rangers move up".

In our eyes the Rangers can stand pat (or if you read us yesterday) and still get a high quality player at number 20. Yes there are some great possibilities in this upcoming draft but to move up the Rangers would have to pay a heavy price.

If it was as simple as giving up say just one player like a Prucha to swap positions that would be one thing but all our sources have set the bar a lot higher just to move up a couple of spots. Sorry but for us it would not make sense to give up a player or current prospect, another draft pick and the 20th pick just to move up.

In many years that might get you into the Top 10 but not this year as the talent pool is one of the best seen in a very long time. You want size it is there, you want skill that too is there and if you are looking for either offense or defense that is also there.

As we wrote yesterday we would have no problem trading down as we can find productive future NHL players as far down as the 4th round. Normally once you get past the 3rd round then it becomes project players or outright gambles.

As it is the Rangers have already given away their 4th round pick in the Backman deal. As it is, we wonder if we can say how bad that trade is looking or do we have to wait until we see who the Blues pick?

Let us also be blunt the Ranger prospect pipeline is still for the most part in it's infancy, yes the Rangers had 4 recent draft picks making regular contributions last season but there is still not a regular flow to the pipeline.

We are going to see a gap of at least one season and possibly two where the Rangers might not have NHL ready prospects. In a way it will be because Dubinsky and Staal jumped what was the expected learning curve and made it to the NHL before anyone really expected.

If the Rangers were at the point where they were developing 1-2 prospects each season then they could take a risk and spend high to pick high but not right now. In our book the Rangers are at least 2-3 more years from being able to have a steady flow of players from prospect to Hartford to the Rangers.

Our view is that we believe the Rangers need to build up their system to where they are overflowing with talent. Where they have to make room for someone who is NHL ready or to be able to use "excess" prospects to fill other needs within the franchise.

Of course if someone was kind enough to take just a second round pick as the incentive to move into the Top 10 then who are we to look a gift like that and say no? Seriously that is not going to happen so the concern (or fear) has to be a knee jerk response that would lead the Rangers to overpaying for a prospect.

We believe the Rangers are on the right track when it comes to building up the prospect system so we get nervous at this time of the year given the Ranger tradition (and we do not just mean the Neil Smith Era) of selling off their young.

It goes as far back as the early 1960s when the Rangers were trying so hard to end the streak of 1940, it failed then and we have seen how history does repeat itself. Have patience Ranger fans as better days really are coming.

Did You Know?

First we have to offer our congrats to the Detroit Red Wings for winning the 2008 Stanley Cup as they shed their recent frustrating habit of winning the President's Trophy then losing early in the playoffs.

What was news to us was an email from our friends at the IIHF who wanted to mention how Henrik Zetterberg, Niklas Kronwall, and former Ranger Mikael Samuelsson joined what is known as the Triple Gold Club.

The Triple Gold Club is being a player who has won a gold medal in both the Olympics and World Championships while also getting their name on the Stanley Cup. This is really an exclusive club as even after the 3 newest members joining that there are only 22 past and present NHL players in this club.

The names on this list are a virtual "Who's Who" in hockey history as both Jaromir Jagr and Brendan Shanahan are on it although their Cup wins were elsewhere. Of course when Ranger fans see some of those on this list they will not have happy memories of those player's times with the Rangers.

Here is a the list of Triple Gold Members (thanks of course to the IIHF for this list)

Tomas Jonsson SC 1982, 1983 (New York Islanders), WS 1991 (Sweden), OG 1994 (Sweden)

Mats Naslund SC 1986 (Montreal Canadiens), WS 1991 (Sweden), OG 1994 (Sweden)

Hakan Loob WS 1987, 1991 (Sweden), SC 1989 (Calgary Flames), OG 1994 (Sweden)

Valeri Kamensky WS 1986, 1989, 1990 (Soviet Union), OG 1988 (Soviet Union),
SC 1996 (Colorado Avalanche)

Alexei Gusarov WS 1986, 1989, 1990 (Soviet Union), OG 1988 (Soviet Union),
SC 1996 (Colorado Avalanche)

Peter Forsberg WS 1992, 1998 (Sweden), OG 1994, 2006 (Sweden), SC 1996, 2001 (Colorado Avalanche)

Vyacheslav Fetisov
WS 1978, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1986, 1989, 1990 (Soviet Union),
OG 1984, 1988 (Soviet Union), SC 1997, 1998 (Detroit Red Wings)

Igor Larionov WS 1982, 1983, 1986, 1989 (Soviet Union), OG 1984, 1988 (Soviet Union),
SC 1997, 1998, 2002 (Detroit Red Wings)

Alexander Mogilny OG 1988 (Soviet Union), WS 1989 (Soviet Union), SC 2000 (New Jersey Devils)

Vladimir Malakhov WS 1990 (Soviet Union), OG 1992 (Russia), SC 2000 (New Jersey Devils)

Rob Blake WS 1994, 1997 (Canada), SC 2001 (Colorado Avalanche), OG 2002 (Canada)

Joe Sakic WS 1994 (Canada), SC 1996, 2001 (Colorado Avalanche), OG 2002 (Canada)

Brendan Shanahan WS 1994 (Canada), SC 1997, 1998, 2002 (Detroit Red Wings),
OG 2002 (Canada)

Scott Niedermayer SC 1995, 2000, 2003 (New Jersey Devils), 2007 (Anaheim Ducks)
OG 2002 (Canada), WS 2004 (Canada)

Jaromir Jagr SC 1991, 1992 (Pittsburgh Penguins), OG 1998 (Czech Republic), WS 2005 (Czech Republic)

Jiri Slegr OG 1998 (Czech Republic), SC 2002 (Detroit Red Wings), WS 2005 (Czech Republic)

Nicklas Lidstrom WS 1991 (Sweden), SC 1997, 1998, 2002, 2008 (Detroit Red Wings),
OG 2006 (Sweden)

Fredrik Modin WS 1998 (Sweden), SC 2004 (Tampa Bay Lightning), OG 2006 (Sweden)

Chris Pronger WS 1997 (Canada), OG 2002 (Canada), SC 2007 (Anaheim Ducks)

Niklas Kronwall OG 06 (Sweden), WS 06 (Sweden), SC 08 (Detroit)

Henrik Zetterberg OG 06 (Sweden), WS 06 (Sweden), SC 08 (Detroit)

Mikael Samuelsson OG 06 (Sweden), WS 06 (Sweden), SC 08 (Detroit)

Like those on this list or not this is a pretty good list of players to be associated with.

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